Penombre - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
PenombrePenombre

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 05-30-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 62
Reviews by CalgaryFMC:
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Essentially pitch black, maybe just a touch brown, with a moderate amount of tan head comprised of small bubbles. Aroma is decidedly porter-like, nutty chocolate and coffee malts with just enough grapefruit pith and mango to remind you that this is technically a "black IPA". A brown sugar sweetness develops nicely over time. Smells and tastes a tad funky as well, not in a bad way. On the palate I get some dried fruit, dried citrus peel (grapefruit and tangerine), and bitter earthy notes, root cellar and cruciferous salad greens along with wood char, raisins, cacao powder, black coffee, and walnut meat. An almost maple-like or fenugreek sweetness emerges late. A bit prickly and aggressive but I will concede that the malt flavors develop nicely. This is what I imagine those aggressively hopped porters of yore to taste like (see Steele's excellent book on IPAs for details). Tasty but the hops do not shine through as well as in other examples of the style. The malt bill and execution is top notch, however.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341ml bottle. Good to see this brewery jumping on the Pacific-NW bandwagon. The name unfortunately sits a little too close to 'Twilight' in its interpretation, though it's hardly the brewery's fault.

This beer pours a very, very dark reddish brown hue, with loose mahogany basal highlights, and two fingers of silkily puffy, foamy beige head, which leaves leaves some attractive tight garden hedge lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, cafe au lait, chastened caramel malt, soft grapefruit and orange fruity pith, and a twinge of pine resin. The taste is zingy generic citrus rind, chalky sweet cocoa, cold coffee, bready, lightly roasted caramel malt, and a trailing forest-floor pine essence.

The carbonation is adequate in its support and otherwise predilection for the shadows, the body a solid medium weight, and tacitly smooth, as the hops swirl about in a meekly threatening manner. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate, neutered coffee, and malt keeping the hops well in check.

An enjoyable rendition of this emerging style, with ample elements from the yin and yang underlying influences, all quite ably balanced, so as to not let any one run rampant. Or conversely, allowing any one to shirk their duties. Anyways, as expected, DDC hits another standing triple with this offering - and that's only because I'm still coming around on the idea of smoking, charring, or otherwise marring a perfectly good IPA.

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Explicit cross between an IPA and a porter, enjoyed on-tap at Mondiale 2008. Very fresh. Bubby off-white head on dark scotch-like body, very lacey. Very roasty Above average carbonation that is sharp on the tongue and is mouth-drying. Not as drinkable.

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a wine glass.

Pours black, with some more ruby hues coming out along the bottom, and is topped with a ¼ finger of creamy mocha colored head. This retains with more of a thin wispy look but does keep some heavier bunching on the edges and actually leaves back a good amount of foamy spotty lacing. Malts take control of the aroma initially, with notes of coffee and chocolate giving this a roasty tanginess in the nostrils. Hops are giving off some green floral accents but mostly seem relegated to the back of the nose.

The taste has a hearty crisp bite to it. Not only of green citric bitterness but also roasted malts, which then proceed to separate themselves and spread crunchy dark roast across the back of the profile. Luckily there is no shortage of sweetness present, as notes of cocoa and toffee help soften and balance some of that sharp bitterness out. This finishes very dry and earthy, with a good bit of lingering pithy bitterness (maybe a tad too much so). The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness that really brings all of those hops and roasted malts out to play. I'm picking up no alcohol up here in the body, which keeps this relatively smooth and helps settle the overall presence of this down some.

I found this to be fairly aggressive for the style but it never did quite get too overly so, as the balance and overall ease of the body helped bring things back down just in the nick of time. This is definitely one that I was initially shaky on but it won me over by the bottom of the glass. I'd gladly check this one out again sometime.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer ever in a Dieu Du Ciel brewpub. My first Black I.P.A seemed like a good choice.

A- darkest brown. Not much head but the thin layer that's left is not letting up. Minimal lacing. Nothing impressive.

S- this wasn't easy since I was close to the oven cooking pizzas and nachos. I can basically say roasted malt and hops all wrapped up in a creamy sweet alcohol package. Its all pretty soft. Hard to pickup distinctly.

T-subdued floral hops. A bit like the rosated malt was trying to hold back the hoppiness. Considerably malty but most of the malt you get comes from smell. If you try and isolate taste, its mostly hops. Roasted malt aftertaste though.

M- great. Light yet full. Medium carbonation.

D- very good. Tasty but not that sessionable.

Very tasty black ipa. I think this was my first one. Good first experience but I'm waiting for way better.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - almost impenetrable black, thumb of tan head receded slowly leaving plenty of sticky lacing
S - big roasty notes, hint of earthiness, touch of cola
T - cola and roasty malts, more mild earthy and grassy hops, more subtle pine and charcoal, but generally malt dominant
M medium body with a nice carbonation kick, full with a gentle hop bitter
O - its definitely tasty and goes down nicely, its a little heavy on malt relative to hops for my taste but that's more of a preference than a knock on it

Photo of DaveBar
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 4pk at the LCBO for around $12.00. Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a nice head that films out in a minute or two. Super dark.

S- Lots here. Tons of malt. Cinnamon and spice and everything nice.

T- Very good but there is a edge to this beer. Touch bitter and not in a good way. Hops are there and plentiful but the slightly burnt overtone hurts this beer's rating

M- Dry and crisp. Very enjoyable.

O- Pretty good beer. Worthy of 4 but won't go for any more at a later date. Don't get me wrong its a good beer but in the quest for better beers this one and most black IPA's get left behind for me.

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Beer battered fish and chips. Nice and thick batter and twice fried fries. Super nice with a ton of salt

Enjoy

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large head.
Nose shows sweet chocolate, cocoa, nutty malt and toasty characters along with soft pine.
In contrast the flavours are quite hoppy. Big piny resinous notes with an aggressive bitterness. Some roast and cocoa.
Body could be a bit thicker.

Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A HUGE thank you to the most generous montrealbcr89 for this and the rest of the insane box that just showed up out of the blue. Just a top notch BA right here.

Appearance. Pours a deep, dark red-brown with very little light getting through and a finger of lumpy, light tan head that leaves some great lacing.

Smell. Nice citrus and floral hops, bakers chocolate and a little roasty malt and coffee beans.

Taste. Big roasty malts with plenty of coffee and cocoa powder, followed by even bigger grassy hops and bitter dried citrus rinds with a touch of pine. The subsequent sips are dominated by the big hops, but enough of the roasty flavours still come through and don't let you forget what style you're drinking.

Mouthfeel. Medium body and medium+ smooth carbonation.

Overall. A great representation of a style I really enjoy, being the hop-junkie that I am. Would love to try this again, maybe even with a month or two on it to see if more of those great roasty flavours come through. Thanks again Tyler-Andrew!!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap: Poured clear black color ale with a small foamy head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops with light aromatic notes. Taste is not the most complex with medium bitter notes and a dry caramel malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. OK but not really a style a dig and not the most complex beer from this fine brewer.

Photo of smakawhat
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A nice dark walnut brown with just a hint of red to it for the body, complete with a two finger creamy very light cocoa brown and tan top. Creamy head settles to about a finger nice and slowly, not large but seems to be hanging around well.

Aroma is chocolate milk, and whoppers candy. Soft sweetness, and some nice dry husky soft grains. Milky, hints of lactose, but not very hop forward or discernable or obvious on that front. Hints more of porter and milk stout.

Palate brings the ale, and the character changes quite dramatically. Sweetness replaced with very noticeable dry roasting malts. Finish is very noticeable hop bitterness of pine and sharp dry earth. Very bitter and sharp. Body hints at a little creamy character, but sort of gives some light pale alt airy malt, backbone subdued with some tight carbonation.

It's a bit misleading at first, quite aggressive on the palate, but also in control. An unexpected hop blast but not quite IPA territory either. An interesting style blur, but drinkable and fun.

Photo of Ryry10
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A nice tasting beer with a thick aftertaste. Not for the occasional beet drinker defenitely an acquired taste

Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge if the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty, borderline roasty, malt aroma with some hop fume behind it. A bit sweet with notes of cocoa, caramel and brown sugar. Musty dankness emanates from the glass when swirled.

T- There's a fine balance between the roastiness and the hops, neither of which being "in-your-face." The bitterness does start to come out on top after a while but the roasted malt does well keeping everything in check. Super drinkable.

M- Sharp from the hops and slightly oily. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- I don't think I've had a beer by DDC that I haven't given at least a 4 rating and this one will be no exception. That does it: this is officially my favorite Canadian brewery.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar and the edges are dark reddish brown in color when the glass is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving only a patch of large bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of resinous hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of roasted malts and has subtle notes of resin from the hops, the latter of which also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of charred ash and dark chocolate are also perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a pretty nice Black IPA if you like something that focuses on the roasted malts.

Photo of ThickNStout
2.21/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from La Duchesse D'Aiguillon (Quebec City). 2.39. I can't decipher to the notched 0&1 mean. Served in a Microbrasseri Charlevoix goblet.

Pours near black with a quarter finger light tan head. Small bits of lace.

Smells of coffee, roast malts and just a whisp of pine.

Tastes of burnt coffee, smoked malt, char, bark and traces of flower pedal. In the back therw is also a hint of something "off".

Lightish body with moderately high carbonation. Long roasty finish.

Deinately the weakest link I've found in Dieu du Ciel's otherwise strong line up. Drinks much more like a garden variety stout than an ABA, with almost no hop character to speak of. I have to assume/ hope that I got an infected, old or bad bottle. I just can't believe that my experience is what the brewers intended.

Photo of papat444
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, bottled 12/12.

Appearance: A dense brown body, easily 3-4 fingers worth of a nice chocolate milk colored head. Lasts a good while, rocky foam that climbs well onto the glass.

Smell: Hoppy a bit, mild roasted notes, some grapefruit, mild coffee.tame

Taste: Flavors surprisingly tame, milky coffee mixes with some hops which are a cross between grapefruit & wood.

Mouthfeel: First thing i notice is the smoothness of the body, not rugged but creamy. Bitterness is an afterthought.

Overall: A subdued IPA , not a real hoppy one. Good but i've yet to see one beat Dunham's.

Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft - my first black IPA

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with a nice size creamy and frothy light brown head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer, and the lacing was one of the best I have ever seen on a beer. The head lasted for quite a while before it was gone.

Smell - hops, coffee, pine, grapefruit, dark chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has quite a bit of carbonation and feels light yet creamy. The most noticeable flavours are pine, hops, and grapefruit mixed with chocolate and coffee notes. All of these flavour mix to combine a fantastic beer that I really enjoyed. It finished with a hoppy/coffee flavoured aftertaste.

Drink - The first black IPA I've had and it won't be the last. If you're at the DDC pub be sure to try this beer, it's outstanding.

** had this again in a bottle Jan 2013.. more porter/stout than IPA flavour wise

Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo for the DDC tap takeover, into a tulip.

Poured pitch black, with some nice white head. Sticky lace with some solid retention. Nose has some citrus, pine and melon notes. Roasty and chocolate, and a hint of coffee as well. Taste has some bitter citrus and pine as per the nose, also continuing the dark chocolate and coffee that the nose suggested. Great balance between the IPA components and the roasty/chocolate notes. Medium full feel with some bitterness derived from both the hops and coffee/roast notes it seems. Great mix of flavour here, and one of the best 'american black ales' I've come across; more of a distinct IPA leaning than I've tasted before.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/20/2013 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, hops and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee come in. The hops presence is strong overall but not over-powering creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

Photo of SebD
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice deep brown/amber color to it. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of coffee, roasted malts, some citrus and some chocolate.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has coffee/chocolate, roasted malts, some citrus and a piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been trying to get up to visit this brewery for years, but haven't gotten the chance yet. Finally a new beer from them, can't wait to try it Although typically not my fav style, but we'll see how it goes.

Pop... errr... they're still using screw caps wtf! Pours a decent fluffy off-white little creamy almost 1 finger head with some big bubbles as well, fades semi slowly with nice big lacing, the beer is just about pitch black with hint of mahogany light sneaking through the thin parts.

Nose is really interesting, a mix of hops and dark malts as expected but different than normal and much nicer. A lot going on so let's see if I can pinpoint them all. Some mild cocoa, well more like a touch of baker's chocolate, as well as a nice dark caramel, mild fluffy nougat, and hint of a light coffee, a mild robust porter like dark malt. Hops are not as big as I expected thankfully, a hint of citrus starts but that fades quickly to some mild fruity hops, like a generic fruity slightly stone fruit hop, with touch of a grassy floral component.

Taste starts creamy, with lots of malts out front again, starting with a mild roast like malt, not a big heavy roast, just a touch of a roasty quality with some mild smooth coffee as well. That turns to a little dark chocolate, like a crushed cocoa bean mixed with creamy oats. A nice dark robust porter like flavor with some dark malts, into some nice caramel flavors and a little fluffy nougat again. Then hops, again not super crazy on the hops and not a ton of citrus or pine thankfully. A mild earthy component, into some floral grassy notes, a mild fruity touch as well, hints of tropical fruits but not the citrusy tropical fruits or strong ones either. Finish gets fairly bitter, with a bit more earthy hops and they turn spicy and quite bitter as the beer dries but leaves a little lactose like sticky feel, bit more roast with it's own bitter component, mild coffee as well lingering.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, somewhat creamy as well, pretty good carb for a semi creamy porter like beer.

Overall pretty good, I think they treated this more like a hoppy porter than an IPA with roasted malt, which is why I think I like it. The nice dark malts with mild roast and coffee without the acrid burnt flavors, a hint of dark chocolate and some caramel components, as well as a creamy feel, add nice effects. HOps come through and actually seem to blend nicely, they don't go crazy in bitterness or in tropical fruits or citrus that would just clash with the rest of the beer. Again I really think this is more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA.

Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sampled oct 17+19/08 on cask at volo as part of cask days 2008.

pours deep brown with a bit of haze. some red shows through at the narrowest part of the glass. a ring of large bubbles clings to the edge of the glass and leaves spotty lace on the way down.

aroma is good. dark chocolate and coffee. bit of roast. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. grapefruit. bit of orange. hint of pine. fresh floral character that seemed more evident on friday than today. touch of alcohol.

taste is great. just over medium bitterness level. bittersweet chocolate. espresso. bit of roast. toasted multi-grain bread. grapefruit and pine, but less noticeable than in the aroma. the bitterness feels more coffee/chocolate/roast derived than hoppy.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation level works well. just over medium body.

drinkability is good. nice balance. interesting overall. the brewery calls it a "black ipa", and that's a pretty good description. some elements of an american porter, american brown, and american ipa all mixed together. i had a couple samples of this one on friday and went back for another today.

Photo of tittymcj
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a very dark brown in light, with almost no head and light lacing throughout.

Smell was just like a normal IPA. Light sweet smell but also hints of roasted malts and even some caramel.

Taste is mostly sweet malt, with some good caramel flavor. Not much dark or roasted about the taste.

Mouthfeel is very light and fizzy with carbonation.

A bit thicker than a normal IPA, makes it a little less drinkable than average.

Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Good beige head that leaves a lot of streaming lace. Dark brown color, but light does pass through the center of the glass

Surprisingly mild smell. I do detect the burnt malts and the peppery hop. Perhaps a bit of cream.

The taste starts mild, but slowly shifts to a variety of flavors--the strongest being the burnt malt. Strong toast element. The body is a bit watery but the carbonation is low. So, it seems balanced. I sense alcohol, but given abv and flavor, that seems odd to me.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a true pint, the beer is a dark auburn to black coloring with a foamy, chunky, light tan head. Awesome cling while you drink. The nose is of roasted coffee and wet, fresh hops. The flavor is roasted coffee initially, with wet, aromatic, spiced hops flooding the mid-palate. The beer is smooth and light in mouth. Roasty and chocolate/mocha aftertaste is the perfect ending to this brew. Roasty, hoppy, and light finish. Very smooth and flavorful.

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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
86 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.